• Log huts are coated in a fresh layer of snow

    Valley Forge

    National Historical Park Pennsylvania

General/Wildlife Protection

III. GENERAL REGULATIONS

36 CFR §2.1 – PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL, AND ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

(c)(1), (c)(2) Fruits, nuts, berries and/or mushrooms may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites, and/or use or consumption restrictions:

  • the quantity shall not exceed the daily use of the immediate family of the collector
  • gathering is prohibited in the immediate vicinity of Washington’s Headquarters and within 100 feet of any buildings and/or monuments.

The superintendent has determined that the gathering of small quantities of the above mentioned items will not adversely affect park resources.

36 CFR § 2.2 WILDLIFE PROTECTION

(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

  • A law enforcement ranger must accompany the transportation of any lawfully taken animal.

(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • All park areas are closed to spotlighting.

36 CFR §2.3 FISHING

(d)(3) Chumming or placing preserved or fresh fish eggs, fish roe, food, fish parts, chemicals or other foreign substances in fresh waters for the purpose of feeding or attracting fish in order that they may be taken is prohibited.

  • The use of any live bait is prohibited in the waterways of Valley Creek.

There have been a plethora of issues surrounding the introduction and spread of non-native species to Valley Creek. Species, such as the Rusty crayfish can be invasive spreading to lakes, rivers, and streams in several areas of North America. They can harm native fish populations and graze on and eliminate aquatic plants.

36 CFR §2.10 – CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE

  • §2.10(a) Camping is only permitted at park sponsored events or by special use permit.

36 CFR §2.11 - PICNICKING

Certain areas have been closed to picnicking and are listed in section 1.5(a)(1), “Closures”.

Conditions for Picnicking

  • Trash must be disposed of properly and packed out when no trash receptacles are available.
  • Picnicking is on a first come, first served basis.
  • Grills are provided only at the Betzwood Picnic Area.

36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Designated Areas:

  • Fires are permitted in grills, portable stoves, portable barbecues, within all picnic areas. Except as stated above, fires are prohibited in the park. Betzwood picnic area is the only area in the park with park-provided grills. All grill accoutrements must be packed out of the park by the user. This includes used charcoal and propane cook stove containers.

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(2) Failing to crate, cage, restrain on a leash, or otherwise confine a pet at all times is prohibited.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:

  • Owners or persons having custody or control of any animal(s) will immediately remove and dispose of excrement voided by an animal(s) under their control. Excrement will be properly disposed of in outdoor trash containers.

(e) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Breeding operations shall not be conducted on park property.
  • Wildlife shall not be kept in violation of state or federal law.
  • The keeping of farm animals (which include but are not limited to: horses, burros, goats, or pot bellied pigs) is prohibited.
  • Excessive noise or offensive conditions created by any pet are prohibited.

36 CFR §2.16 – HORSES and PACK ANIMALS

(b) The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:

  • Huntington’s Trail
  • River Trail
  • Walnut Hill Trail
  • Commissary Trail
  • Chapel Trail
  • Baptist Trace Road
  • Valley Creek Trail
  • Bridle Trail
  • Mt Joy Trails
  • Horseshoe Trail

The Joseph Plumb Martin Trail is a prohibited trail for horse back riding.

36 CFR § 2.20 - SKATING, SKATEBOARDS, and SIMILAR DEVICES

The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed only in the following areas:

  • The Schuylkill River Trail
  • Betzwood Parking area

36 CFR §2.21 SMOKING

  • Smoking is prohibited in all government buildings except single occupancy/single family park quarters. Smoking is prohibited in dormitory style housing.

The superintendent has determined that this restriction is necessary to protect park resources, protect employees and the public and reduce the risk of fire on government property. This measure is deemed to be the minimum necessary to achieve such protection.

36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Vehicles or boat trailers, or combination, may be left unattended for periods up to 24 hours or longer, when parked in parking areas adjacent to the designated boat launching site, with written permission obtained in advance from the Superintendent.
  • Any vehicle or boat trailer or combination left in parking areas adjacent to the designated boat launching site in excess of 48 hours, without written permission, obtained in advance from the superintendent, is prohibited, and may be impounded.

36 CFR §2.35 –ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

  • All areas in the boundaries of Valley Forge National Historical Park are closed to alcoholic consumption with the exception of park residences and functions approved by the superintendent.

The park is close to highly populated areas and heavily traveled public roads traverse the park. For these reasons some users may come to the park for the sole purpose of consuming alcohol. The park staff has noticed that behavior induced by the consumption of alcohol by some persons may at times destroy the enjoyment of the park by others. This restriction is consistent with the Pennsylvania state park restriction on alcohol.

  • The consumption of an alcoholic beverage by a person operating a vehicle or vessel is prohibited.

Boating is a potentially hazardous activity. Operators of vessels must devote full time and attention to boating. Alcohol impairment by boat operators directly affects safe boat operation, and alcohol impairment is a known factor in boating accidents, injuries and fatalities at Valley Forge NHP.

36 CFR §2.62 – MEMORIALIZATION

(b) A permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains, or in the following designated areas without a permit, in accordance with the following terms and conditions:

  • The scattering of human ashes may occur by permit only. The request will stipulate time, place, number of participants, use of park facilities, and any other special considerations requested.

36 CFR §3.6 – BOATING OPERATIONS

(d)(1) Vessels may not create a wake or exceed 5 mph in the following areas:

  • 100’ from the boat ramp

(h) The following areas/sites are designated for the launching or recovery of vessels using a trailer:

  • Betzwood boat ramp

(i) The following areas/sites are designated for the launching or recovery of vessels propelled by machinery:

  • Betzwood boat ramp

36 CFR §3.20 – WATER SKIING

(a) The towing of persons by vessels is allowed in the following areas under the terms and conditions noted:

  • Water skiing is permitted in the Schuylkill River under the conditions imposed by this section and as permitted by state regulations regarding no wake areas.

36 CFR §3.21 – SWIMMING AND BATHING

(a)(1) The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:

  • Valley Creek
  • Schuylkill River within 200 feet of its confluence with Valley Creek
  • Schuylkill River within 500 feet of the Betzwood boat launch ramp

36 CFR §4.10 – TRAVEL ON PARK ROADS AND ROUTES

(a) Park roads open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated below, and/or as indicated in the following publication or document (attached hereto):

  • All state through ways and tour roads are open for vehicle travel.
  • All trails, maintenance roads, or fire breaks are not open to the public for vehicle travel.

36 CFR §4.11 – TRAVEL ON PARK ROADS AND ROUTES

(b)(1) Vehicle load, weight and size limits:

  • Vehicles exceeding established state size limits require a permit issued by the superintendent, and appropriate state highway permits.
  • The covered bridge is closed to all trucks and busses.

36 CFR §4.21 – SPEED LIMITS

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

  • North and South Outer Line Drive 25 mph
  • East and West Inner Line Drive 25 mph
  • North and South Inner Line Drive 25 mph
  • State roads within the park are posted 35 mph with the exception of a small section of Rt. 252 (Valley Creek Road) which is posted at 40 mph

36 CFR§ 4.30 BICYCLES

(a) The use of bicycle is prohibited except on park roads, in parking areas, and on routes designated for bicycle use.

The following additional routes have been designated for bicycle use:

  • Chapel Trail
  • Joseph Plumb Martin Trail
  • Valley Creek Trail
  • Walnut Hill Lane
  • Schuylkill River Trail
  • River Trail
  • Baptist Trace Road

Did You Know?

Valley Forge NHP Entrance Sign

Valley Forge National Historical Park is a national icon of the American Revolution that serves as a place where visitors enjoy, understand, care for, and preserve America’s history and natural heritage.